BY DESERET NEWS COUGAR BLOGGER KEN DRIGGS
Recently I made the annual drive to Barnes & Noble to get my valued Phil Steele’s 2013 College Football Preview. The magazine provides in-depth coverage of each major college team in the country with some comparative details about the teams. Steele gives each team a numerical rating that indicates which team would be favored on a neutral field and by how many points. This numerical rating provides BYU fans with a quick glimpse as to how Steele sees the Cougars’ fortunes playing out this fall.
BYU fans will be pleased to hear that he rates only three of the Cougars’ opponents higher, and not surprisingly they are Texas, Notre Dame and Wisconsin. There are three opponents rated just below the Cougars, including Utah, Boise State and Georgia Tech. Those three games will all be played at LaVell Edwards Stadium, which is also a plus. Steele has rated BYU in seven of his nine “sets” to win more than the eight games the Cougars won last season.
The magazine also lists Kyle Van Noy as a First Team All American and Cody Hoffman as a member of the Second Team. These two selections are quite a feather in BYU’s hat. Steele also rates the BYU receiving corps as No. 12 in the nation with the linebacking crew rated No. 17. The magazine even rates the Cougar defensive back unit as No. 30. When has that ever happened? The Cougars are coming off a great defensive year and a disappointing offensive year. It is hard to believe with all of the disappointment that the team was four plays away from a 12-1 season.
Another interesting tidbit in the BYU Cougars’ team spread in the magazine is the list of the top three quarterbacks in career passing yards, as well as the top three in rushing yards and receiving yards. It is amazing to see that of those nine players, four were on the 2008 team. Those four, Max Hall, Harvey Unga, Austin Collie and Dennis Pitta, would all have been together again on the 2009 team, but Collie left for the NFL. As it has been said, “You don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.”
Ken Driggs of Mesa, Ariz., is a BYU graduate who served as Cosmo in the ’60s. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org